Common cold antibodies do not protect against COVID-19


By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - Antibodies that recognize and fight off the coronaviruses that cause common colds are not likely to protect against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, new research shows.

At Rockefeller University in New York City, scientists studied blood samples collected and stored before the pandemic from people known to have had common colds in the past few months.

Each sample contained antibodies that could recognize and neutralize, or disable, at least one common cold coronavirus - and most could recognize multiple such viruses. But none of the samples had antibodies that could recognize and disable a virus that had been modified to look like the new coronavirus, carrying the spike protein that helps it infect healthy cells.

In a report published ahead of peer review on medRxiv, the researchers say that while there may be rare individuals with common cold antibodies that can also target the COVID-19 virus, their new data suggest those antibodies are not going to have much of an effect for the population as a whole.

SOURCE: medRxiv, online October 11, 2020.

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